Sunday, July 17, 2016

[What You Allow] "The Poor Man's Famine Is the Rich Man's Feast" -- Mick Blake

Saturday, July 16, 2016

#FreePalestine -- Seattle Is There with You! @VoicesforPal

Sunday, July 10, 2016

"Why Police Violence Will Not End ['Until segregation becomes a distant memory ...]" By Feisal G. Mohamed

originally in HuffingtonPost

Let’s begin with the obvious. There can be no justification for the murder of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling or any other innocent person, and anyone denying that African-Americans suffer disproportionately from police violence is either deluded or disingenuous. Amongst the deluded and disingenuous are those who carry such reactionary banners as “All Lives Matter” or “Blue Lives Matter.” A steady stream of death is not a series of missteps or errors in judgment; it is a willed choice, an approach to policing in action. To acknowledge this is not to tolerate the murder of police officers by sniper fire: protesting the murder of innocents with more murder is never legitimate. Three names of those killed in Dallas have been released as of this writing, and they deserve to be recorded: Michael Krol, Brent Thompson, and Patrick Zamarippa. Outrage about the murder of police officers and outrage about murder committed by police officers are not mutually exclusive: we can, and I think should, feel both.

Why won’t the killing stop? Can’t we just give cops a few sensitivity seminars, teach them a bit of black history, and have the whole thing go away? To say so is to fundamentally mistake the nature of the problem we face. This is not about the personal racial attitudes of police officers. We know, if we’ve been watching, that some of the police officers who kill black boys and men are black themselves. The officers charged in the Freddie Gray case are equally split, three black and three white. While this feels like an exception, it also suggests that the racial attitudes of officers cannot entirely explain police violence.

A more compelling explanation runs much deeper, implicates many more of us, and is centered on two facts. Fact one: we live in a deeply segregated country.Evidence suggests that our cities are more segregated now than they were half a century ago. Fact two: we live in a country where explicit policies of segregation are illegal. So how does our system of segregation perpetuate itself? The ways are legion, but especially relevant to this discussion are interactions with authorities that take place on the margins of the law: all the sub-legal, and extra-legal, and quasi-legal zones in which minorities are harassed to enforce the borders that middle-class Americans have been trained to desire and expect. And these are precisely the zones in which policing happens.

So we come to another point that should be obvious: we cannot reasonably expect police to do the dirty work of twenty-first century segregation without also expecting them to commit routine acts of violence against minorities. While they are certainly culpable for their actions, they are also pawns in a game perpetuated by every middle-class person with a racialized view of what constitutes a “desirable” neighborhood with “good” schools and “safe” streets. These terms thinly veil a dirty social bargain, one where law-abiding working-class minorities must live under a cloud of suspicion. We complain about the militarization of the police, but those who subscribe to these views are the ones who give them their marching orders.

The killing will stop when segregation becomes a distant memory rather than a living fact. That means forcing all levels of government to make integration a serious objective. Government certainly made it an objective get us where we are—suburbanization is a direct result of transportation and lending policy, the building of freeways and extension of tax exemptions for developers—and by any conceivable measure government has an obligation to fix its own mess. This is not social engineering, but social therapy. Government-sponsored programs created our segregation problem; and government-sponsored urban planning can solve it by prioritizing the creation mixed-income neighbourhoods. It is only when the fortress mentality afflicting middle-class America is abandoned that we won’t need trained murderers at the gates. The more that the bonds of community cut across race lines, the less that policing will take the form of racial exclusion.

Though the episodic violence that has taken place since Ferguson has filled time on networks purporting to carry news, the peaceful efforts of Black Lives Matter must not be lost in the noise. Just as Occupy made broad segments of society think about rising inequality, Black Lives Matter has brought together broad segments of urban society, of all races, to demand an end to the violent legacies of white supremacy. One of its virtues is that it is decentered and multi-polar, a tacit recognition that race problems are often local—even hyper-local: micro-segregations taking place between city blocks, creating boundaries known to locals that police are expected to defend. That means we cannot blame the Dallas shooting on a group of leaders: the movement has no chain of command.

No other protest movement in recent memory has achieved so significant an awakening on the question of race. We must keep that in mind, and allow that achievement to take root and flight, in the coming weeks and months, when Dallas will be used as a pretext to discredit Black Lives Matter as a whole. That will happen in unsubtle ways, as when those who were already filled with racial hatred will find a new excuse for their bigotry. But it will also happen in subtle ways, as when people feel a little less ethical pressure to make change happen the next time that a police officer kills a young black man. We must be vigilant against both.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Serene Williams -- Black Power at Wimbledon

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Freedom Rider: "The Good News of Brexit" [BEST ANALYSIS OF BREXIT--BY MARGARET KIMBERLEY] @freedomrideblog

In calling for the vote on BREXIT, the British guardians of the financial powers-that-be have shot themselves in all four feet. Trillions have been lost in money markets, “the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is on hold for now, and NATO provocations against Russia will take a back seat.” The U.S. is losing its Trojan Horse in Europe. “Let the sun finally set on the British Empire.”

Freedom RiderThe Good News of Brexit

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

They want freedom from the big bullies on the school yard, the United States of America and finance capital.”
This week the world has to be thankful for hubris and political miscalculation. These two factors have temporarily thrown a wrench into the imperialist project. No one in the British or American establishment foresaw the “Brexit” vote [3] that called for a United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union.
The post-referendum recrimination and political chaos benefit humanity. The latest trade deal monstrosity, the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), is on hold for now and NATO provocations against Russia will take a back seat. Millions of people will get a respite from American meddling in their lives.
If there had been any inkling of a Brexit victory, Prime Minister David Cameron would never have agreed to put the matter to a vote. Even politicians on the right who made it a condition of supporting him may not have pushed the issue, either. Nor did the Labour party see Brexit coming. If so they would have been in front making the principled left case [4] against neo-liberalism and United States hegemony. Instead they straddled the fence and meekly supported the Remain camp at the 11thhour.
Despite its well cultivated image of progress and enlightenment [5] the European Union is not a bulwark of peace and international cooperation. It acts as America’s 28-nation gang of enforcers, as it impoverishes Greece, or tears Ukraine in two or bribes Turkey [6] to keep the desperate refugees they all had a hand in creating. But the EU nations are also victims of American power. The United States is the invisible senior partner [7] of the EU, making sure that it keeps the international banksters well funded, expands NATO and makes certain that no one steps out of the American orbit. Angela Merkel may want to end sanctions against Russia, or allow Greece to exit the Eurozone but both requests were dead on arrival because Washington opposed them. 
“The EU acts as America’s 28-nation gang of enforcers.”
While David Cameron and Barack Obama and the New York Times and the BBC all sneered at anyone who thought of leaving, ordinary citizens kept their own counsel. They watched as EU rules precluded deficit spending and created an austerity hell for the British people. Under American pressure the EU expanded its membership to include poorer countries whose people then had a right to immigrate to more prosperous countries like the UK. This race to the bottom for workers was not just the concern of xenophobes and racists but of people whose living wage jobs disappear.
The insults heaped upon the Leave voters by the establishment certainly didn’t help. It was bad enough that the Cameron government gutted Britain’s once proud national health system but late in the anti-Brexit campaign they added insult to injury by threatening to withhold even more money if the Leave vote won. In one of the worst acts of desperation, Cameron invoked the spirit of the much maligned Vladimir Putin, declaring that a Leave vote would only benefit the man turned into a villain by western politicians and media.
The warnings of economic catastrophe were ignored in favor of a desire for freedom from a cooked up union that exists to make capital flow more easily. It is true that the most visible Leave campaigners were motivated by anti-immigrant sentiment. That did not have to be the case. But the Labour Party are also under the sway of finance capital and the discredited specter of criminal Tony Blair. What passes for the left was caught flat footed instead of making the case for escape from the imperialist hostage takers.
This race to the bottom for workers was not just the concern of xenophobes and racists but of people whose living wage jobs disappear.
The media reaction to the vote is proof of how much the establishment want to stay within the bounds of the neo-liberal project. Voters who chose the Brexit route have been labeled as stupid, and we are told that 17 million people didn’t know what they were doing. Every instance of hate speech and hate crime is now blamed on the Brexit vote, as if there was an absence of racism and intolerance before.
Cameron will step down, but there is turmoil in the Labour party ,too. Their constituents voted to go and there were even more fissures along generational and geographic lines. Scotland voted to stay, and its leadership has already said that the referendum will not be binding upon them. There is talk of a second referendum, which makes a mockery of the constant shrieking about democracy in the capitalist world.
Other nations are watching and people in the rest of Europe are making the case for once again having their own currencies and leaving NATO behind. That is why they are vilified so badly. They want freedom from the big bullies on the school yard, the United States of America and finance capital.
Ordinary people may not be able to articulate their discomfort but they’ll speak up when given the opportunity to express their unhappiness. Some who voted to leave the EU may be well versed on the subject, some were anti-immigrant, others were fed up with politicians who lie to them about wars or austerity.
“Every instance of hate speech and hate crime is now blamed on the Brexit vote, as if there was an absence of racism and intolerance before.
The end result of Brexit may be the end of the United Kingdom. Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU while England and Wales voted to leave. Given another opportunity, Scottish people may choose independence. The New York Times and the Guardian may wring their hands about this possibility but no one else should care.
Britain committed some of the worst criminal acts in history ranging from slavery to colonialism. It violently repressed freedom movements and owes its wealth to its criminality. Now it acts in concert with the United States to sanction and to threaten. For now it is unlikely to play a major role in provoking Russia, which has suddenly moved down on the imperialist to-do list. Let the sun finally set on the British empire.
There is no downside to David Cameron’s impending resignation either. He is a symbol of every form of corruption in western so-called democracy. Cameron went to Libya to personally gloat after NATO overthrew that government, killed thousands of people and murdered president Muammar Gaddafi. The corporate media went to great lengths to connect Vladimir Putin to the Panama papers [8] scandal, but it was Cameron’s family who hid money offshore to keep from paying taxes. Cameron should suffer but he won’t. He will undoubtedly join the ranks of former heads of state who become well paid errand boys for the 1%.
Chaos can be a good thing. The current mess of post-Brexit politics is a sign that one part of the capitalist coalition is in trouble. They won’t give up easily and will do everything in their power to negate the will of the people. But this earthquake can’t be papered over easily and that is a good thing indeed.
Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at [9] Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

END ISRAELI APARTHEID -- At Seattle Trans Pride March! -- by Elliot Stoller

Friday, June 24, 2016

"How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote" -- Michael Hudson on The Real News

Brexit Is About to Usher in Third World Britain -- Nafeez Ahmed


Aim your disillusionment at the cause, not the symptom

This model is accelerating global and national inequalities. For the last 8 years, the model has failed dismally to restore global growth, which is plateauing.
The model, which for a while marginally ‘lifted all boats’, stopped doing so in the very golden age of globalisation (1980s onwards), and has increasingly led to the regression of social progress on key indicators: not just in the poorer, less developed countries, but across richer, developed nations, too.
Sleight-of-hand data calculations have allowed policymakers to pretend that the model has halved global poverty since the 1990s. But this is a lie based on measuring poverty at a mere $1.25 a day. When measured more accurately, at between $5 and $10 a day, the last few decades of wonderful global economic progress have seen the number of poor people increase dramatically. Since 1990, the number of people living under $10 a day has increased by a quarter. Today, 4.3 billion people – nearly two-thirds of the global population – live on less than $5 a day.
While this model is horrific for the global working class, it works for the one percenters. That’s because the rules of the global economic system are structured to facilitate the interests that dominate it, transnational banks and corporations, which in turn hold excessive lobbying power over both the EU and national governments.
And those rules function to extract wealth and resources from the planet, from people, from workers, and hoard them in an ever decreasing circle of elite power.
And as corporate-backed governments have resorted to bailing out their friends, the public purse has suffered on the back of gruelling austerity. That’s why the NHS, schools, and other critical public services are haemorrhaging. And that’s why the ‘haemorrhage effect’ is not unique to Britain: the crisis is not British – it’s global.
The same global system is rapidly eroding its own environmental resource base, over-exploiting energy and raw materials leading to rising costs and diminishing returns fuelling climate change to the danger point of no-return, and using excessive debt-money to keep itself chugging along while turning more and more citizens into debt-slaves.
Feeling powerless?
You’re missing the mark if you want to pinpoint all the blame on any one political party, on one government, on one institution, or on just the EU. It’s all of them, together, collectively, systemically: it’s a system that is crumbling under the weight of its own chronic unsustainability.
Simply remaining in the EU without an agenda for radical systemic transformation would never have addressed this. Equally, simply leaving the EU without grasping that lacking radical systemic transformation, this will create space for more deregulated financial forces in the City to play havoc, does not address this.
You’ll notice that none of this ever really made it into the Brexit debate. That’s the level of ostrich-like insanity we’re inhabiting as we frantically rearrange the deck-chairs on the Titanic, while pointing fingers at everything other than ourselves and the hole in the boat.
The next recession was coming with or without Brexit. Brexit just brought it on faster – it also brought on the short-termist knee-jerk ‘solutions’ faster.
Neither side of this political charade is going to address the real issues, the real causes, the fundamental need for radical systemic transformation to get out of the mess we’re in.
That’s why now is the time for a renewed form of solidarity between citizens, wherever we stand within the defunct Leave/Remain paradigm, to begin exploring grassroots action to re-build our communities from the ground-up.